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Discussion Starter · #1 ·

Hi all. Let me start out by saying, I am a complete novice about a Home Audio setup. I would like a budget system mainly movie/tv watching (60%) and music (40%). My living room (14'Lx11'Wx8'H) opens up to dining room (combined the two is 28'Lx11'Wx8'H). There also is a partitioned room along side of the living room (11'Lx11'Wx8'H). Viewing distance from tv to main listening couch is about 10'. I am looking to buy a A/V receiver with Bluetooth(THIS IS A MUST) and WiFi, 5.1 speakers and sub-woofer. My budget for it all is roughly $1000-$1300. I live in a condo. The whole setup is surround by cement walls, except for where the tv is which has a full wall window. All audio will be facing away from window. I know this is a lot of information but I've learned from reading here that most don't post about the landscape before asking about equipment. Now on to my questions that need addressing.

I currently have a 46in Samsung smart tv (forget the model bought 2 years ago). I have been mostly shopping for products by reviews I've seen posted. So this is what I have come up with for my shopping list: Sony STR-DN840 and Pioneer SP-PK52FS or the Energy Take Classic. I know the Pioneer comes with a sub but I hear its not very good. I was looking to get the speakers separately and purchase another sub. I am open to sub-woofer suggestions. There have been quite a few I've read about. What I am looking for in a sub is something great for movies. Nothing to shake the house, but something that will highlight a movie's low ends needs. If I missed anything on room setup or equipment needs please let me know.

Thank you for any and all advice.
 

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First, budget carefully. I would guess 200-250 on an receiver, 300 on a sub and 5-600 on 5 speakers. A lot if beginners buy a pricey receiver and then crappy speakers! Get the cheapest receiver you can that has enough power and the features you would like !

Possible subs, the emp 10i, the bic pl200 or the Dayton.

Speakers? Cambridge audio s30s...good choice and currently about 200/pr. Infinity primus p163s would be another option. The pioneer AJ are often me anted in your price range.

There are many av-rec that are 5.1, have decent power and room correction software for around 200 dollars!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·

Thank you for your advice. I am looking for a receiver I can still use for a 7.2 channel in the future and that won't get dated. Any suggestions?
 

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My primary piece of advice is what I wish I had when first starting out... be patient and build your setup over time as funds become available. The idea is that you don't need to go straight to a 5.1 or 7.1 setup and as a result, spread your initial budget too thin. Instead, spend it on a higher quality 2.1 system initially and build your system over time. In 12 to 18 months you'll end up with a superior and more satisfying surround sound setup.


If you're coming from nothing, a pair of quality bookshelf speakers and a sub will keep you happy for months until you've saved for the next speaker purchase. The idea is to pick a "family" of speakers you like and just purchase say the mid-sized bookshelf of the range to use as mains. Later, the matching centre channel speaker can be added. In the meantime, your AVR can be configured to redirect the centre channel signal to the mains and you get a "phantom" centre effect. The next move is the surround speakers. Here you have the option of getting larger bookshelves or floorstanding towers for the mains and re-purposing your bookshelves to surround duty, or alternately, simply buying matching surround speakers. Once you've got yourself to a 5.1 system, you would then consider adding a second identical sub to smooth out the bass response over a larger area and give each sub additional headroom.


If you're interested in pursuing the expandable 2.1 setup idea, here are some well regarded speaker "families" along with some value subs from internet direct manufacturers to get you started:

Speakers:

HTD Level Three

Chane ARX Loudspeakers

Ascend Acoustics C Series

PSB Speakers Image

Aperion Audio Verus Forte

EMP Tek Impression Series

Infinity Primus

NHT Classic

Subs:

SVS PB-1000 - $500

Hsu Research VTF-2 MkIV - $530 (Sale)

Rythmik Audio LV12R - $600


If pressed for a favourite, I would pick a combo from Ascend Acoustics / Rythmik Audio. The CBM-170 SE's and Rythmik LV12R Servo Sub 2.1 system comes to about $950 shipped, leaving $350 for the AVR. Subsequent steps would entail moving towards CMT-340 SE's for L/C/R.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ticomon  /t/1520502/thoughts-and-advice-on-my-planned-home-audio-setup#post_24427378


Thank you for your advice. I am looking for a receiver I can still use for a 7.2 channel in the future and that won't get dated. Any suggestions?

My best advice on AVR shopping is to get yourself as far up the Audyssey food chain as your budget will allow, as this IMO is the primary determinate in the sound quality of an AVR. The best way to achieve this is to go for a factory refurbished Denon. This Denon AVR-1913 is 7.1 channel, Audyssey MultEQ enabled and is on your total budget at $330 plus shipping. (A simple Y-cord is all that's required for this AVR to run "7.2". AVR's at this level claiming "7.2" do not have true independent sub pre-outs - they simply have an internal Y splitter to enable two sub pre-out jacks.)


The next available step up is to the Audyssey MultEQ XT enabled Denon AVR-X2000 at $420 plus shipping. However, this exceeds your stated total budget and is probably beyond the limit of what you should spend on a nicely balanced system.


Don't concern yourself too much with trying to buy an AVR that won't date... it's a futile exercise. Manufacturers want them to date to keep consumers on the upgrade merry-go-round by having them chase the latest "must have" feature. It's called "planned obsolescence".

Edit: Just noticed that Bluetooth is a MUST HAVE and WiFi is required, so scratch that above about the Denons.

Your best option is a factory refurbished Onkyo TX-NR626 is at $350 plus shipping. It runs Audyssey MultEQ and has built in Bluetooth and WiFi.

.
 

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^ +1 excellent advice from GIEGAR
 
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Great post giegar! You should pretty much cut and paste that into about 25% of the posts here in the speaker forum



The advice to start slowly and get the best couple components and build up over time is really VERY good. I think many folks who have gotten into this hobby would readily agree. You'll save a lot of money in the long run by not compromising as much to try to get the 'full' setup right away.


For speakers I would suggest looking at 3 of the arx a2 for left/right/center, but all of those on giegar's list would do nicely depending on your tastes and budget.


Personally I would prioritize the speakers in following order of importance w/ fully agreeing with above comments on AVR.


L/R speaker

C speaker

Sub(s)

Surrounds
 

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+1 Starting with fewer, higher quality components and adding speakers over time.


A big caveat to remember - you'll want to avoid speaker lines that are end-of-life, on clearance sale, etc. so that the speakers you need later are still available. (All the speakers in giegar's post qualify.
 
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Great information so far. I will definitely look into all suggestions. I agree alittle over time is a great way to go. I haven't heard any comments about the equipment I mentioned. The AJ pioneer speakers and sony 840. Are they not good? Which sub would be best to start off with with the space I have now? Thanks for all the help
 

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ticomon..any of the subs giegar listed you would probably very pleased with..

As for the AVR.. The better room correction the more $$ but your ears will love ya for it..

 

If I knew what I know now, I'd have Paradigm Studio 100's not Monitor 11's
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ticomon  /t/1520502/thoughts-and-advice-on-my-planned-home-audio-setup#post_24429826


Great information so far. I will definitely look into all suggestions. I agree alittle over time is a great way to go. I haven't heard any comments about the equipment I mentioned. The AJ pioneer speakers and sony 840. Are they not good? Which sub would be best to start off with with the space I have now? Thanks for all the help
Sony has stepped their AVR game up and improved themselves lately.


The AJ Pioneer speakers (you can buy them without the subwoofer) and getting like a Bic F12 or PL-200 isn't a bad setup
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ticomon  /t/1520502/thoughts-and-advice-on-my-planned-home-audio-setup#post_24429826


The AJ pioneer speakers and sony 840. Are they not good? Which sub would be best to start off with with the space I have now? Thanks for all the help

The Pioneer speakers are nice, however for me - the Cambridge S30 is a clear step up, even over

the tower speakers - a nice subwoofer will fill in the lower octaves - I would still keep the Alexxa

12 subwoofer on a short list.


Also note - for a 11 x 11 room the Mordaunt Short sub >> will easily handle that room, and is not a

mushy/boom subwoofer.


As was stated, Sony has stepped up their receiver game.


However, your call - and if you do go with Pioneer, it will not be bad.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ProUnion  /t/1520502/thoughts-and-advice-on-my-planned-home-audio-setup#post_24427951


^ +1 excellent advice from GIEGAR
Quote:
Originally Posted by SuperFan  /t/1520502/thoughts-and-advice-on-my-planned-home-audio-setup#post_24428363


Great post giegar! You should pretty much cut and paste that into about 25% of the posts here in the speaker forum



The advice to start slowly and get the best couple components and build up over time is really VERY good. I think many folks who have gotten into this hobby would readily agree. You'll save a lot of money in the long run by not compromising as much to try to get the 'full' setup right away.


For speakers I would suggest looking at 3 of the arx a2 for left/right/center, but all of those on giegar's list would do nicely depending on your tastes and budget.


Personally I would prioritize the speakers in following order of importance w/ fully agreeing with above comments on AVR.


L/R speaker

C speaker

Sub(s)

Surrounds

Thanks fellas, I appreciate the words of encouragement.


@ProUnion , I see you're on the staged upgrade path to a Studio front end with that beaut CC-590. Very nice... I love monster centre speakers! Benchmark sub there too!

@SuperFan , yes I've already linked to that post once in another thread.
Please feel free to do so yourself, if you're inclined to.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by sdg4vfx  /t/1520502/thoughts-and-advice-on-my-planned-home-audio-setup#post_24429567


+1 Starting with fewer, higher quality components and adding speakers over time.


A big caveat to remember - you'll want to avoid speaker lines that are end-of-life, on clearance sale, etc. so that the speakers you need later are still available. (All the speakers in giegar's post qualify.

Thanks, very good point.


In that vein, I'd just note that there has been the odd unsubstantiated rumour in the PSB owners thread that PSB may be upgrading the Image line shortly. @ticomon , if the current Image's make your shortlist, the status of them would be worth checking up on and taking into consideration.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by GIEGAR  /t/1520502/thoughts-and-advice-on-my-planned-home-audio-setup#post_24435149




Thanks fellas, I appreciate the words of encouragement.


@ProUnion , I see you're on the staged upgrade path to a Studio front end with that beaut CC-590. Very nice... I love monster centre speakers! Benchmark sub there too!

@SuperFan , yes I've already linked to that post once in another thread.
Please feel free to do so yourself, if you're inclined to.
@GIEGAR I  installed my FV15HP on Fri.. I can't really put into words how great my system sounds after adding the sub...I'm in awe!!
 

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No such thing as a receiver that won't get dated. As suggested, just go for a more inexpensive one so when it becomes outdated you won't have a lot of money invested in it.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by RayGuy  /t/1520502/thoughts-and-advice-on-my-planned-home-audio-setup#post_24435703


No such thing as a receiver that won't get dated.
Or that won't get beat by something cheaper in two years.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·

Thank you for the input so far. I've been looking at all the equipment mentioned so far. I've decided to change my plan of attack. I still need a receiver with Bluetooth. Now I was thinking of concentrating on 2 towers with a center channel and a good sub. And upgrade to the surround later. With that in mind, I am trying to find a cheaper receiver than the Sony 840 with Bluetooth. My budget is still pretty restricted though. I would be looking to spend about 1kish for the receiver, sub and front LR C speakers. I'd prefer towers over bookshelf's because I'd end up having to buy stands. It's a bit daunting trying to settle on choices when I can only go by a few recommendations. I can't find most of these speakers locally to go to listen to. Thanks again.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ticomon  /t/1520502/thoughts-and-advice-on-my-planned-home-audio-setup#post_24439503


Thank you for the input so far. I've been looking at all the equipment mentioned so far. I've decided to change my plan of attack. I still need a receiver with Bluetooth. Now I was thinking of concentrating on 2 towers with a center channel and a good sub. And upgrade to the surround later. With that in mind, I am trying to find a cheaper receiver than the Sony 840 with Bluetooth. My budget is still pretty restricted though. I would be looking to spend about 1kish for the receiver, sub and front LR C speakers. I'd prefer towers over bookshelf's because I'd end up having to buy stands. It's a bit daunting trying to settle on choices when I can only go by a few recommendations. I can't find most of these speakers locally to go to listen to. Thanks again.
You are not likely to find a cheaper receiver than the Sony 840 with Bluetooth. Add wifi to it and that is a great upgrade. No other receiver at that price has that. So unless your modem is right next to your receiver you have to buy an additional adapter.


Bookshelf speakers and buying stands is still cheaper than buying towers


Here is what a brief search found the Harmond kardon AVR-1610 for $400 with bluetooth but havent seen it reviewed
 

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In the same boat myself im looking to buy a good receiver I have about €500 to spend but can stretch that For the right manchine. Its to be part of a home cinema system I've installed a new screen and projector and now im updating the sound system so ill be getting new speakers as well. Im hearing good things about yamaha?. Is it worth having a machine with 2 hdmi outs, and should I wait around for hdmi2. Any help or advice greatly appreciated. Thanks
 
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